cold cock interview

Books Charming/Mukul Ranjan/COLD COCK/Evincepub Publishing

Thank you Books Charming for this nice interview.

https://www.bookscharming.com/p/interview-with-mukul-ranjan.html

#bookscharming #coldcocknovel #coldcockbook #mukulranjan #authormukulranjan #evincepub #newbook #newnovel #novelreaders #fiction #fictionwriter #fictionbooks #authorsofinstagram #authorsoftwitter #authorssupportingauthors #author #authorsoflinkedin #evincepubpublishing

Interview – cold cock

Thank you NJkinny’s Blog for the fantastic conversation

👊👊 COLD COCK 👊👊

Evincepub Publishing / NJkinny’s Blog / COLD COCK / Mukul Ranjan

#coldcocknovel #coldcockbook #njkinny’sblog #mukulranjan #authormukulranjan #evincepub #evincepubpublishing #newbook #newnovel #novelreaders #fiction #fictionwriter #fictionbooks #authorsofinstagram #authorsoftwitter #authorssupportingauthors #author #authorsoflinkedin

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Photo By Jamie Street on Unsplash

Girdhari was looking at his shoes. The pair was gleaming with fresh coat of polish. He said loudly, jaldi chalo nahin to der ho jaayegi (let’s rush else we’ll get late) Didi (elder sister) called out aloud from inside, ribbon baandh rahi hoon, yahin paas mein hi toh jaana hai (tying the ribbons, anyways its closeby). Girdhari looked proudly at the decorated noble fir tree kept near the main entrance. Didi adjusted the big shining star on top of the tree. Girdhari and Didi started for the house of Amelia Miss. Her full name was Amelia Mercy Pillai. She was from the state of Kerala. But in this town everybody called her Amelia Miss. A big group of kids and other neighbours were standing outside her house and singing a coral song. Girdhari and Didi rushed to join them.  

Jesus Christ

Photo By Unknown artist – [1][2], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=489650

Amelia Miss offered sugar candies, pastries, biscuits and chocolates to all the children who had gathered in the living room of her house. She started narrating the story behind Christmas celebration. Christenmas or Christ’s Mass is the full word for Christmas. In other parts of the globe, in different times, it was also known as Yule, Nativity and Midwinter. 

Shepherds adoring Baby Jesus

Photo By Gerard van Honthorst – Google Art Project, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45542035

Christmas is celebrated to mark the birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus is believed to have been born, in a stable, in the city of Bethlehem, between 6 to 4 BC to Mary and Joseph. Jesus was declared by the angels as a saviour to the humanity. No wonder, shepherds from all around came to adore baby Jesus. Bethlehem is now in Palestine’s Central West Bank. The birth place of Jesus is now known as the Church Of Nativity. 

Birth Place of Jesus inside The Church Of Nativity

Photo By Mark87 at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40931815

All of them started singing their most favourite, Jingle Bells Song. Here it is.

Dashing through the snow

In a one-horse open sleigh

O’er the fields we go

Laughing all the way

Bells on bob tail ring

Making spirits bright

What fun it is to ride and sing

A sleighing song tonight! Oh! 

Jingle bells, jingle bells,

Jingle all the way.

Oh! what fun it is to ride

In a one-horse open sleigh. Hey! 

Jingle bells, jingle bells,

Jingle all the way;

Oh! what fun it is to ride

In a one-horse open sleigh.

Jingle Bells is one of the most popular Christmas songs. It was written in 1857, in the USA, with the title, The One Horse Open Sleigh by James Lord Pierpont. 

“Jingle Bells composed here” commemorative plaque at 19 High St., Medford, MA, USA.

Photo By SteveStrummer – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11540050

Surprisingly, in earlier times, gift giving during Christmas time was amongst people in legal relationships such as employer and employee, landlord and tenant etc. Famous poet, John Milton wrote a poem in 1629, On The Morning Of Christ’s Nativity. This poem triggered the Christmas celebrations into dancing, card playing, drinking, sporting, eating,  singing and other merriments.  

Gifts giving during Christmas

Photo By Kelvin Kay, en:user:kkmd – http://public.fotki.com/kelvinkay/collection_of_beaut/xmasparty061.htmlUploaded originally to English Wikipedia as en:Image:Gifts_xmas.jpg, 15:07, 18 June 2006 by en:User:Kkmd, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1478397

The concept of decorating Christmas trees (actually fir and pine trees) first gained popularity in Germany. The star on top of Christmas trees is representative of the Star Of Bethlehem. In 1834, in UK, Christmas Day was declared a bank holiday. Famous author, Charles Dickens published his novel, A Christmas Carol in 1843. Many things associated with Christmas today as games, family get-togethers, dancing, food and drinks were first described vividly in this book.

Photo By Sadhna Ranjan

Christmas is synonymous with Christmas cards. Now with the advent of mobiles and smartphones, e-cards have gained popularity. But Christmas cards have sentimental and nostalgic value. It is assumed that in the U S  markets alone approximately two billion dollars worth of Christmas Cards are purchased from various stores, supermarkets and malls every year. Artist John Callcott Horsley made world’s first commercial Christmas card in 1843, in England for Henry Cole. 

World’s First Commercial Christmas Card

Photo By : Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3095682

Christmas is the ultimate sales season for various companies and malls. In the north American markets Christmas merchandise sales begin in October. November is the time in Ireland and the U K for the Christmas shoppers.  

Christmas Shopping in a Paris Mall

Photo By Benh LIEU SONG (Flickr) – Galeries Lafayette Dome 2009, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8673288

Santa Claus symbolises Christmas as nobody else. Santa Claus is believed to bring gifts for children on Christmas eve, sitting on his sleigh which is supposedly pulled by flying reindeers. A 4th century Greek Bishop of Demre, now in Turkey, Saint Nicholas is believed to be the original Santa Claus. 

Saint Nicholas

Photo By CrazyPhunk at nl.wikipedia & Gaby Kooiman, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3175523

Amelia Miss gave each child a toy as a gift while serving them pudding, cake, pie and other food items. Girdhari asked her, Miss, naye tareeke se ye tyohaar kaise manaate hain (how is this festival celebrated in some other ways)? Miss smiled, touched his head and explained. In Indonesia’s Bali island, locals decorate their roads with Penjor. It is made by tying fresh coconut leaves together in a plait and then hanging them on the bamboo poles. In Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, a week before Christmas, roads are shut for vehicular traffic. People rollar skate from their houses to the church for the mass. San Fernando City is called the Christmas Capital of the Philippines. This city holds an annual festival in December called, The Giant Lantern Festival. This is a competition meant for giant parol lanterns. Amelia Miss wished the children Happy Christmas. Girdhari and other children thanked Amelia Miss and left her house, smiling. 

Dear reader, Maverick Yogi wishes you Merry Christmas !

The Giant Lantern Festival

Photo By Ramon FVelasquez – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23215534

#MerryChristmas #JesusChrist #HappyChristmas #SantaClaus #Christmas #SaintNicholas #MotherMary #Christmasshopping #ChristmasSale #Christmascards #Christmasshopping #Christmasshoppers #Christmastree #StarOfBethlehem #ChristmasDay #AChristmasCarol #OnTheMorningOfChrist’sNativity #JingleBells #CoralSong #coralsinging #Christenmas #Christ’sMass #Yule #Nativity #Midwinter #Bethlehem #ChurchOfNativity #Penjor #Bali #SanFernando #giantlanternfestival  

GHEE – THE new SUPERFOOD

Photo By Megumi Nachev on Unsplash

Girdhari was excited as others sitting with him. Everybody was sitting cross legged in a single row on the floor while some of them were looking at their fully loaded paat (plate made of leaves) in front. Girdhari could rattle each item on the paat even in his sleep. Bhaat (rice), baingan murouri tarkaari (eggplant curry), aloo parod tarkaari (potato pointed gourd curry), paapad (poppadam), til achaar (sesame pickle), aadioal achaar (ginger yam pickle), non marchaayi (salt with green chilly), salaad. Girdhari felt tremendous urge to start eating. But everybody was waiting. The baarik (the one serving the food) arrived with his aluminium bucket of daal (lentil soup). He started serving daal in the centre of the mound of rice on each paat. All of them were waiting patiently. Girdhari’s hunger pangs were getting unmanageable. As soon as the baarik served it on Girdhaari’s paat he started eating. Bhaiya told Girdhari, ghee kahaan ailay yaa (ghee is yet to be served). Everybody was looking at Girdhari. Girdhari replied, Bhaiya, kais kaa bhookh laaig gel chelaah(I’m famished). Bhaiya replied, bhoj mein ghee kein baad bhojan shuru hoyet chhai (in the feast eating begins after ghee is served). The feast started after ghee was served on each paat

In recent times, western world has called ghee, a superfood. But ghee is central to Indian food since ancient ages. Ayurved speaks a lot about ghee’s sterling qualities. In vaidik age, the role of ghee was pivotal in hom (praying with fire) and yagya (mass grand worship). In all Hindu temples, since early civilisation, ghee is used for Aarti, Panchaamrit (other components being honey, milk, curd, mishri) and Kadha Parshaad. It is difficult to imagine famous Indian dishes such as Biryaani, Daal Baati Choorma, Kesri Bhaat, Puranpoli, Dosa, Khichdi, Mysore Paak, Gaajar Halwa, Besan Laddu, Ghee Bhaat, Daalma amongst several others without ghee. Ghee is considered saatvik food in India.

Photo By TabassumJawed – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40925942

Ghee, known as clarified butter abroad, is made by heating and stirring unsalted butter on slow flame for a long time. This churning process gradually helps in isolating salt, milk solids and water. The stirring and heating continues for some more time resulting in solids settling down to the bottom. Up stays a golden kind of transparent liquid with an aromatic flavour. This is ghee. Ghee can be stored in a bottle or jar and should be kept unrefrigerated and away from the sunlight. Ghee can be used at a higher burning point than butter and most of the vegetable oils. So this works best for cooking and sautéing foods.      

Our forefathers used ghee a lot in their food and they lived long, didn’t they ? In India, other civilisations, external forces, multinationals and vested internal forces have created a whole maze of misinformation and confusion about dangers of using ghee. Some common misconceptions about using ghee is that it is bad for heart, it has bad cholesterol, it is full of fat, it increases weight and finally, ghee is unhealthy. Remember, in 1937 how Dalda (a brand of hydrogenated cooking oil) was introduced in undivided India. It was presented as a cheaper and healthier alternative to ghee. Our food never tasted the same again !

Photo By Varmapak – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=95339885

They said, ghee is unhealthy. Aw man, this is a cruel joke indeed ! In fact, ghee has a natural substance which helps in trimming down the dangers of diabetes, cancer and heart problems. It is great for the heart. It helps in maintaining healthy cholesterol. Omega 6 fatty acid in ghee facilitates weight loss ! Ghee improves nervous system and helps in enhancing memory and learning skills. It is a powerful antioxidant which shields body from tissue damage and treats various diseases including cough. It aids in digestion and helps in constipation. Ghee can be used on all types of skin for hydration and moisturisation and on cracked lips during winters. Is it any wonder that infants and babies are massaged with ghee in north India !

Bhaiya said, now you understand Girdhari why experts in western world call ghee the superfood ! And what do Indians have to say about ghee, asked Girdhari. Bhaiya replied, a famous sage, Chaarwaak famously said about ghee in a Sanskrit shlok :

Yaavvajeevet sukham jeeved, rinam kritwa ghritam pivet I

Bhasmibhootasya dehasya punraagamanam kutah          II

It roughly means, live life kingsize till the time one is alive. Even if one has to beg or borrow in order to eat ghee, one should. When one is gone, one is gone forever. Has a body come back to life after burning on funeral pyre ? So, dear reader, eat, drink, celebrate with this superfood without any qualms, doubts or fear.

#ghee #superfood #saatvikfood #antioxidant #ayurved #mysorepak #daalma #puranpoli #kesribhaat #chaarwaak #indiansuperfood #panchamrit #aarti #vaidikage #superfoodghee

Another review of cold cock

COLD COCK / EVINCEPUB PUBLISHING / MUKUL RANJAN

Thanks a lot, Books Review Cafe for your review of 👊👊 COLD COCK 👊👊https://booksreviewcafe.wordpress.com/2021/10/29/cold-cock/

#coldcocknovel#coldcockbook#booksreviewcafe#mukulranjan#authormukulranjan#evincepub#evincepubpublishing#newbook#newnovel#novelreaders#fiction#fictionwriter#fictionbooks#authorsofinstagram#authorsoftwitter#authorssupportingauthors#author#authorsoflinkedin

SAAMA CHAKEBAA

Girdhari, like a fox was looking at the changera (big bamboo basket), hanging from the top of the wall. He made one more attempt to jump up to touch the changera but didn’t succeed. To him, the changera was a bunch of grapes for him. He wiped the sweat off his forehead. The mixed feelings of frustration, curiosity and irritation was getting too much for him. He pulled a chair, stood on it and jumped up. His fingers touched the changera and he fell down, taking the chair down with him. Mom rushed in and looked at Girdhari sprawled on the floor with chair on top of him. He was looking miserable. She smiled and asked, changera me Pantoba (a famous Indian sweet) raakhal chhai ki (are there Pantobas in changera)? Girdhari started rolling down on the floor, angrily. His harried Mom took out the changera and gave it to Girdhari. Girdhari smiled when he looked closely at the treasure trove. There were several small colourful clay idols of Satbhaiyyan, Khadreech, Chugla with beard, Saamb, Jhaajikukkur, Saama and Chakebaa in the changera.

In the evening, Pisi (father’s sister), Didi (sister), Kaaki (aunt), Daadi (father’s mother), Daai (aunt) and other women started walking from Angnaa (village house) towards the Pokhar (community pond) carrying their changera, pathiya (a type of bamboo basket), soop (a type of bamboo basket), mouni (a type of bamboo basket) while singing Maithili folk songs. Girdhari and some other small boys were accompanying them. All of them sat down near the ghaat on the pokhri mahaar (bank of the pond) and started singing the songs again. They took out the clay idols mentioned earlier from their baskets.  There were some more of them. One pathiya had the clay idols of birds like peacock, parrot, pigeon and swan. During some songs they used to laugh aloud. Girdhari and the boys were waiting, spellbound. The group of women started hitting Chugla’s idol with borhni (little brooms) while continuously singing. The children were fed Murhi (puffed rice) and Batasha (an Indian sweet). On Girdhari’s request, Pisi started narrating the story of Saama Chakebaa.

Pisi said that this nine day Saama Chakebaa festival begins on the Usha Arghya day of Chhath festival and ends on Kaartik Poornima. It is celebrated for the strong bonding of brothers and sisters. Around five thousand years back, in Dwaapar yug, Bhagwaan Krishn (God Krishna) was the ruler of the kingdom of Dwaarka. His daughter Shyama and his son, Saamb were very close to each other. Shyama was religious minded and spent her time looking after the rishis (sages) and their aashrams (hutments). Bhagwaan Krishn got Shyama married to a rishi’s son, Charudutt. Shyama maintained her routine of aashram seva (service to the saints) after her marriage too. A minister in Krishn’s council, Chukkal was envious of Shyama’s popularity. He started narrating falsehoods about Shyama’s character to Krishn. An enraged Krishn banished Shyama to live as a bird. Shyama’s husband, Charudutt prayed to the God to turn him into a bird so that he could live with his wife, now a bird. Both the birds flew away from there. All this while Krishn’s son, Saamb was out of the capital. Saamb was shocked when he came to know the whole traumatic incident about his sister and brother-in-law. Saamb prayed to God Krishn to prove Shyama’s innocence and piety. Pleased with his prayers, Krishn gave a boon to Saamb that if he can find the two birds, Saama (or Shyama) and Chakebaa (or Charudutt), get their idols made and bring their and Chukkal’s story to the world then both of them will regain their human forms. Saamb went out in search for the two birds far and wide. During the winter season, Saamb found Saama and Chakebaa (as a pair of birds) in the kingdom of Mithila, finally. An overjoyed Saamb requested the womenfolk of Mithila to sing songs about Saama Chakebaa and the evil deeds of Chugla (minister Chukkal). A person who does back biting is called Chugla in Maithili language. It is said that since then this festival is celebrated in Mithilanchal region of India and Nepal with great fanfare.

Photo By James Wainscoat on Unsplash

Every evening this routine of singing, playing and eating continued till the next eight days in all the houses in the village. All these days, grains and other stuff were offered to the birds, to feed on in the courtyard as well as rooftops. During daytime, Girdhari along with his friends used to run around the whole village, trying to spot pair of birds. By chance, if he found any pair of birds, he used to call his whole family and tell them confidently that these two birds were indeed, Saama and Chakebaa. Daai asked him about Saamb. And, you guessed it right, Girdhari told them he himself was Saamb ! 

On Kaartik Poornima day, all the little boys were collected at the Dalaan (main entrance quarter) of the Haveli (their village house) in the afternoon. Girdhari, expectedly was quite excited. Ranjit was missing. Girdhari ran away to find him.They were getting late. Each woman was carrying a bamboo basket filled with these clay statues in her hands. One house help was holding a Kastaara (clay pot) of Dahi (curd), Paat (plates made of leaves), Choora (flattened rice) and Cheeni (sugar). The group started singing and moving towards the pokhar. At the ghaat, senior women took a dip in the pond. They decorated the clay idols of Saama Chakebaa once again. They first put fire to Chugla’s long flowing beard. All this while the singing of Maithili folk songs continued. Girdhari and all the other little boys were called by the women. Something was to happen but what ? Girdhri’s fertile imagination ran riot but this was really unexpected, yeah. All the boys were told to break the idols of Saama and Chakebaa with their knees. And they did it, gleefully. Now, all the idols were immersed in the pokhar while one Daala (flat bamboo basket) full of idols were immersed in the nearby field of Marua (finger millet) plants. The women were now singing, Saam Chako Saam Chako abeeha hey, Jotal khet mein baiseeha hey (Saama Chakebaa come again, next year / And make these tilled farms your home). All the excited boys were served the famous Maithil snack of DahiChooraCheeni on plates made of leaves by their sisters while wishing for their long life. Choora being the fresh farm produce of the season. 

SAAM CHAKO MAITHILI FOLK SONG / SINGERS : GYANENDRA BHASKAR & SUKANTA BHASKAR
© GYANENDRA BHASKAR 2021

Pisi and other senior women were sure about the folklore related to Saamb, Charudutt, Chukkal and Shyama. But Girdhari’s mind went back again to the beautiful birds. Probably because he saw these birds with his own eyes, everyday while he was yet to see the historical characters mentioned in the popular story above. He thought about his land – Mithila. The people of Mithila had a festival to welcome the migratory birds like Eurasian Coot, Ferruginous Duck and others who were crossing the mighty Himalay mountain to meet him ! People in these areas celebrated the first consumption of fresh produce from the farms ! And the Maithils made eco friendly plate makers, potters, basket makers and others smile by involving them in celebration of this nature friendly festival ! Girdhari made a promise to himself that he would make other societies and communities aware of the relatively unknown festival of Saama Chakebaa. Girdhari smiled at the sight. Here, again, was a pair of smiling birds, sitting peacefully together !

Photo by Roi Dimor on Unsplash

P.S : Sincere thanks to Sukanta Bhaskar and Gyanendra Bhaskar for providing their Maithili Folk Song to Maverick Yogi especially for this Blog. You can mail Gyanendra on gyanendra.bhaskar@gmail.com

GURU NANAK DEV JI JAYANTI

Photo By Amritpal Singh Mann – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74025607

On Kaartik Poornima, Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurupurab is celebrated in India, Pakistan, Canada, Afghanistan, the USA, England  and other nations with great fervour.  It is celebrated to mark the birth of the founder of Sikh faith and first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Sikhs celebrate the birthdays of their Gurus as Gurpurab.

By Jeev at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3150888

Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born in 1469 in Pakistan’s Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi, now famously known as Nankana Sahib. His father was Kalyan Chand Das Bedi and mother was Mata Tripta. Nanaki, his sister was five years older to Nanak. Nanak’s father worked in Talwandi village as a patwari (village accountant). Since childhood, Nanak used to have divine experiences. When he grew up, he travelled far and wide, explaining his message of Ikk Onkaar (God is One) to the people. Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs, contains 974 shabad (hymns) of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.  

Photo By Chander Mohan on Unsplash

The celebration of Gurupurab begins with Akhand Paath (forty-eight hour non-stop chanting of Guru Granth Sahib) in Gurdwaras two days before the birthday and Prabhat Pheri (morning procession) in city squares and markets. People carry Nishan Sahib (the Sikh flag) and the paalki (palanquin) with Guru Granth Sahib in these processions with great piety, singing holy hymns all the way. On the night, all the Gurdwaras are well illuminated. A Langar (community meal) is held for all the people and Karha Prashaad is distributed amongst the devotees.  

Photo By Giridhar Appaji Nag Y from Bangalore, India – 20071124_204659, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6938762 

Guru Nanak Dev Ji practised and preached the concepts of Naam Japo, Kirat Karni and Wand kay Shako. Naam Japo alludes to taking God’s name (or names) several times a day in dedication, remembrance and meditation. Kirat Karni refers to earn one’s living in ethical way or legal means. Wand kay Shako means to share some part of one’s rightful earning with others. This is how the concept of Dasvandh (one tenth or 10%) grew in Sikh community. Every Sikh is expected to give 10% of his wealth or income to those who need it or in charity. With time and with the teachings of the other Gurus, the Sikhs community’s belief in purity of mind and righteous path grew manifold. Since 1699, on the commands of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Sikhs greet each other with – Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh. It loosely means the pure people belong to the God Almighty and their victory too, belongs to the God Almighty. 

Photo By TheyCallMeHeartbreaker – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18056344